Never underestimate the importance of choosing the best soil for monstera plants!
One of the most prominent factors in the health of a monstera (or any houseplant) is the soil it’s planted in.
After all, a houseplant’s pot (and the soil inside it) is a huge part of the plant’s environment. This is also where the root structure lives and where it absorbs water and nutrients.
The right soil must balance several different factors to maintain the health of the plant.
Understanding all the necessary factors and choosing the best soil for monstera plants can be confusing, so we’ll explain each of these factors in detail and share our favorite ready-made and DIY soils for monstera plants.
Best Soil For Monstera
If you just want the easy answer for a soil you can buy and use straight out of the bag without mixing anything else in, listen up.
I kept killing my monstera plants by planting them in the wrong soil. But with several businesses and three young kids, I don’t have time to mix my own potting soil! But store-bought potting mixes weren’t cutting it.
I knew I wasn’t alone, so I created this premium mix specifically for monsteras.
It contains the perfect blend of organic aged bark, coco coir, perlite, and IBI-certified biochar for the ideal balance of drainage, moisture retention, pH, and nutrition to help all varieties of monstera plants thrive.
The perlite keeps the soil nice and aerated while the bark and coco coir hold on to the right amount of moisture without drowning your monstera’s roots. The biochar provides unmatched nutrition to help your monstera grow big, gorgeous leaves with those sought-after fenestrations, as well as sturdy stems and a robust root system to support the entire plant.
You can plant any of your monstera varieties in this soil, whether you have a classic deliciosa, adansonii, a borsigiana, or even monstera dubia. You can also use this soil for all aroids such as peace lilies, pothos, and philodendrons!
I’m in love with it, and so are my monsteras.
Give it a try for top-notch, effortless monstera care!
Now, onto the recipes and explanation of what each of those elements I just mentioned actually mean.
Monstera Potting Soil Mix Recipe
If you’re more of a DIY person, we love this recipe from Kaylee Ellen on YouTube!
In a large bowl, mix together:
- 5 parts orchid bark
- 4 parts coir
- 5 parts perlite
- 2 parts activated charcoal
- 2 parts worm castings
Then pot your monstera (or any other aroid) in this soil (make sure to use a pot with drainage holes!).
Try dressing the top of the soil with an inch or so of orchid bark, which can discourage fungus gnats from laying eggs in the soil. It also looks nice! If you live in a very dry area, you can also dress the top with a little sphagnum moss to prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
We like this soil because it stays well aerated instead of compacting in the pot, just damp enough to keep your plant hydrated, and it’s highly nutritious thanks to the worm castings (which, by the way, is a fancy way to say worm poop, in case you were wondering).
If you have the time and desire to make your own soil for your monsteras and other aroids, this recipe is perfect!
Monstera Potting Soil Ph
Your monstera’s soil must maintain the proper pH balance.
If you haven’t heard about pH since high school chemistry class, here’s a quick review:
pH units measure the acidity or alkalinity of different materials, including soil. The pH scale goes from 0-14, with 7 being neutral since it’s right in the middle.
Anything upward of 7 means the soil is alkaline, and anything below 7 indicates a more acidic soil. A soil’s pH depends on what it’s made of and how much water it receives.
Soil pH plays a massive role in your monstera’s growth and nutrient uptake, and it can also affect the balance of bacteria in the soil.
This is important because the right bacteria can be beneficial to your monstera, while the wrong bacteria can make your plant sick! And if your monstera can’t absorb certain nutrients (or absorbs too much of others), your plant will suffer from nutrient deficiencies or excess, which can be just as harmful.
In a nutshell, pH is important. Monsteras like a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0, which is just a little on the acidic side.
Our favorite 3-in-1 soil meter can help you measure your soil’s pH level as well as moisture and light levels!
First, the soil must balance water retention with drainage so that your monstera isn’t sitting in water or drying out too quickly. This will protect your plant from over- or underwatering issues (as long as you’re watering it the right amount and on the right schedule).
There’s nothing more frustrating than watering your monstera properly but still seeing watering issues because the composition of the soil is off!
This balance is tricky, which is why the best monstera soils balance gritty, aerating ingredients like perlite with more dense materials that absorb water, like coco coir, bark, and compost.
Your monstera’s soil needs to stay fairly well aerated without a lot of upkeep. This means that there’s enough air in your soil to allow for proper drainage and airflow around the roots.
Your soil should be light, not dense, and shouldn’t compact easily. This also allows the roots to grow freely without cramping them in hardened soil.
Ingredients like perlite and bark are important for keeping the soil well aerated.
Finally, the soil must contain the right nutrient balance for your monstera to promote health and growth. Ingredients like worm castings, compost, and biochar can increase the nutritional value of a soil.
Now, keep in mind that your monstera can burn through all the available nutrients in its pot in a matter of months. In nature, organic matter is constantly breaking down into the soil, which provides a steady supply of nutrients for growing plants. But when your monstera lives in a pot, you’ll need to replenish those nutrients with the right fertilizer.
Repotting Monstera Plants
Most monstera plants will need to be repotted each year, especially larger, fast-growing species like monstera deliciosa. This helps the plants continue to grow and keeps the roots healthy and readily able to absorb water and nutrients.
How Do You Know When Monstera Needs Repotting?
If it’s time to repot your monstera, you might notice that your plant isn’t growing as quickly as usual. This is often because the roots are cramped and have nowhere else to grow!
Your monstera’s soil might also be compacted in the pot, and you may notice the roots growing around the inside of the pot in a circular pattern, or even sticking out of the drainage hole or top of the pot!
If you notice this, it’s time for a pot upgrade.
Repot your plant into a pot with drainage that’s 2-3 inches larger than your monstera’s root ball, and switch out the soil for one of the well-aerated, nutrient-rich soils we recommend in this article.
FAQ Monstera Soil
Can You Use Regular Potting Soil For Monstera?
We get this question a lot!
We don’t recommend using straight regular potting soil for monstera plants because it is often too dense and hangs on to water for too long. This can lead to overwatering issues such as root rot.
In a pinch, you can mix a bit of perlite into regular indoor potting mix to help it drain more quickly.
Can I Use Cactus Soil For Monsteras?
Cactus soil typically drains very quickly and is suitable for drought-resistant cactuses and succulents, but it can dry out your monstera!
If you don’t have many options, you can mix a few handfuls of peat moss into cactus soil to increase moisture retention. A little compost can also increase the nutrients in the soil.
Is Loam Soil Good For Monsteras?
Monsteras don’t like to be dried out, but they also hate sitting in wet soil!
Loamy soil tends to be heavy and stay wet for far too long, so we don’t recommend it for monsteras. You might be able to get away with mixing in perlite and bark to keep it aerated, but we find it much easier to start with a soil that’s better suited for monsteras.
At the end of the day, if you understand the different components of a good monstera soil, you can cobble together your own using different ingredients you may have on hand.
Of course, I prefer to use our Monstera Potting Soil so I can enjoy a perfect monstera soil without having to mix anything or store a bunch of huge bags of pricey ingredients.
Choose the option that works best for you!